6 Things Student Renters are Looking for in a Rental

Picture of Students in Philadelphia

Students can be a wonderful source of ongoing rental income, especially since many students either choose not to live on campus after their freshman year, or the campus simply does not provide enough student housing to meet the needs of all the students. If you have a well maintained rental property, near campus, or popular campus hangouts – you can be sure to expect continuous rental income year after year.

Are you interested in renting your property to students? Take a look at the top 6 things student renters are looking for to make their living situation in college as seamless as possible, after all, they have plenty of other things to worry about, why should housing be something else to add to that list?

1. Easy to Locate Listing(s)

Did you know that the overwhelming majority of renters check out a property online before booking an appointment or signing the lease? Students who are already used to finding everything online will start there first. If you do not have an optimized online presence, you won’t appeal to student renters. These tech-savvy renters are looking for high-quality pictures, videos, virtual tours, and positive reviews as many times the people whose opinions matter most, such as family and friends won’t be able to make an in-person tour.

With these few additions – your rental(s) should move to the top of the listings and these tips, along with the ideas found below, should help you go from struggling to find renters – to having your choice of qualified tenants.

2. Finding is only the beginning – Consider Amenities or Incentives to Attract more Student Renters

Remember, that finding your property is only the first step. When your student renters have located your property online – they will look at pictures and reviews to see what can be expected. Do you include amenities or incentives that appeal to students?

High-speed internet is probably one of the top must-have items for a college student. Being able to study or “Netflix and Chill” in their bedroom rather than trekking to the library constantly is going to be a big bonus.

And speed is important – most large metro areas offer high-speed internet that can handle multiple streaming devices at one time – but make sure if you are renting to 4 tenants in one property that the internet coverage is sufficient for that load.

3. Safety: The College Campus Dilemma

We have all heard the stories of students who disappear – and you can bet families and students themselves don’t want to become a statistic. Having safety features at the property is becoming more and more of a priority for both students and concerned parents. Install an alarm, outdoor motion-sensored floodlights, cameras, and deadbolts to create a safer environment for students and their families.

And obviously, when looking to purchase a rental property specifically to cater to students make sure you are focused on the safer areas near campus.

4. Make the Bill Simple: Do they Know What they are Getting?

In your online listing, be sure to include the amenities that not everyone thinks of – such as gas, electric, trash, and water – you may even consider throwing a Netflix or Hulu subscription for the house – or a Roku or Amazon player to further incentivize the student crowd.

Also, mention lawn care and any electrical or plumbing maintenance as this is definitely not something you want students managing on their own. You could also consider adding a storage shed either outside the home or additional storage in a basement space – as many students come with their own sets of things that they may not use if roommates have similar or better items.

5. Must-Have Appliances

On-site laundry not only saves student’s money but time as well – and we all know time is money. Having an on-site washer and dryer as well as a dishwasher (that isn’t their mother) will not only save students time – but the added frustration that comes with having to do roommates dishes.

Additionally, you may want to at least partially furnish the space – and include items such as a microwave, couch, or small desks in each room. You may also want to take a look at outlets since nearly everything we own requires one now. Having a sufficient number in the living areas as well as in the bedrooms will add functionality and ease to the life of any student. You may want to also consider the number of parking spaces in relation to the number of rooms that are being rented out. If you have 5 rooms for rent, and only one off-street parking space, students may find a different spot to call home.

6. Location, Location, Location:

If your property is close to nightlife, a pool, school campus or the library or rec center you will probably be able to charge a little more. Are there a lot of students in the area? College students often like to be around other students so renting a home next to an elderly couple is probably necessarily ideal for either party.

If you are willing to take these tips and tricks and use them when purchasing or up-fitting a rental property for student use – you can make your properties more appealing and get more renters and get higher rents.

Here are some of the great universities in and around Philadelphia that Bay Management Group provides Philadelphia Property Management around.

http://drexel.edu/

https://www.temple.edu/

https://www.upenn.edu/


Six Tips to Manage Recurring Rental Property Maintenance.

Property Maintenance is both the tenant and the landlord’s responsibility. What they’re each responsible for depends on what is outlined in the lease and the extent of the repair/maintenance needed. Typically, tenants are responsible for the regular upkeep of their rented property; This includes things like changing light bulbs and keeping their yard trash-free. Landlords are usually responsible for more big-ticket maintenance, such as HVAC repairs, roof leaks, electrical, and structural issues.

If a property is well-maintained by the tenants and the landlord, it is more likely to attract interest in future renters and will lessen the amount of recurring large-scale maintenance problems.

Here are six tips to manage recurring rental property maintenance that will help to keep your properties well-maintained.

1. Communication is Key.

It will only make things easier for you and your tenants if there are established lines of communication. If tenants know their landlord cares about their maintenance issues, they are more likely to take care of their property too. Now, this is a two-way street.

Make sure to keep tenants informed about how maintenance repairs are going and if there are unexpected roadblocks that may cause it to take longer than you thought to finish the repair. You should respond to tenants’ reports and concerns as quickly as possible, even if you can’t immediately fix the problem, let them know you hear their concern and will take care of the situation promptly.

2. Practice preventative maintenance.

Preventative maintenance is preparing for a maintenance issue before it occurs.
This can be done by creating a schedule of inspections and maintenance. This schedule can be designed by week, month, or even season; depending on your unique set of properties. For example, you may schedule pipe maintenance right before the winter months to make sure they are prepared to sustain colder temperatures and won’t freeze or burst.

Even with a preventative maintenance schedule, always try to expect the unexpected. Maintenance repairs that don’t fall into the predetermined inspection schedule will probably still happen but are less likely to occur if everything is routinely checked.

A maintenance schedule can save you time and money in the long run, and a well-maintained property will only increase property value.

3. Everything has an expiration date.

During these inspections, remember that everything has an expiration date. This includes appliances, paint, and even built-in fixtures like rugs and wood flooring. Be sure to take into consideration the age and condition of what you are repairing, the expected lifespan, how many times it has been fixed previously, and if there are any safety concerns or price disparities involved with repairing it rather than replacing it.

Also, try and make good notes of larger potential projects that are in the medium to long-term future for each property. Items like the removal of large trees that may be creating a hazard on the property or the replacement of decks and porches or the resurfacing of driveways at some point will likely need to be taken care of, and these projects can come with both hefty expenses and inconveniences for the tenants.

These considerations can be help with tenant relationships and retention and can help to spread out expenses over time and manage a more even month to month cash flow situation for you as the investor.

4. Standardization and automation keep things simple.

By using the same maintenance materials, like colors of paint and brands of appliances and hardware, you can save time and money on trying to remember what property needs what. This will also allow you to provide the same, smooth transition to a move-in ready property every time you’re looking for a new tenant for each of your properties.

You can also work at automating some changes in your properties as well like have all of your air and/or water filters changed out the same months or do all of your leaf removals and clean up the same week.

You can also invest in appliances that have longer expected lives, are tamper resistant or automatically turn on or off. Automatic exterior lights or hardwired fire alarms with rechargeable batteries are examples of nice additions that tenants will likely appreciate.

5. Keep a list of repairs made and expenses paid.

Be sure to keep a full list of repairs that were done and the time it took to complete them. Holding on to receipts from every repair will help this process. This information can be used to adjust and optimize your maintenance schedule. If you find recurring maintenance was needed on a particular property or type of appliance, consider increasing the number of inspections accordingly or replacing as needed.

Also, keeping track of what you spend on inspections and repairs will enable you to create a maintenance budget and organized files come in helpful at tax time or for annual reviews of property income performance.

6. Be prepared no matter what the situation.

Be prepared in any situation by noting a few things. Know where your property’s electrical panels, gas, and water shut-offs are located not only to direct whoever is conducting inspections and maintenance but also in case of emergency situations. Making sure your tenants know where the water cut off valve is can save you thousands of dollars in the case of a frozen or broken pipe. It takes virtually no time to flood an entire house with a badly broken pipe.

Know what kind of work is required to be conducted by a licensed professional. This can differ from state to state. Check with your local building authority to ensure you stay on the right side of their guidelines.

Conclusion

Recurring maintenance on any property can be time consuming and expensive. Ignoring maintenance items and you run the risk of having larger more costly and time-consuming issues that may appear unexpectedly while no one wants to purposefully fix things that aren’t 100% necessary for the upkeep of a home.

Professional help and management can typically help in these situations as Property Management Companies will usually have the experience and contact to quickly and affordably take care of exactly what needs to be fixed or maintained without spending more than is necessary.


5 Ways a Property Management Company Saves You Time And Money

Hiring a Property Management Company Saves You Time and Money

Self-managing your Laurel rental property may sound like a good idea initially.

However, what you may not realize when you get into the rental property business is how much work is involved, and how much money needs to go into properly managing every aspect of your tenant’s stay in your investment property.

Not understanding the true time and money commitment involved with managing rental properties can kill your rental property business before you even get started.

You may feel you are maximizing your profits by taking on everything yourself, and not paying a property management company to do it for you. However, by not outsourcing your property management tasks, you may actually be doing yourself a financial disservice and making things much worse, without even knowing it.

If you want to become a successful property owner, you might want to consider hiring a property management company to help you.

Their experience, professionalism, and expertise can save you loads of time and money, and actually garner you more profit in the end, without you having to work so hard.

 

How Investing in a Property Management Company in Laurel Will Save You Time and Money

1. Reduced Vacancy Rates

Property Management Company Helps Reduce Vacancy Rates

If your rental property has no tenants, you are not collecting any money.

That’s why reducing vacancy rates is something most property owners prioritize.

According to Brenton Hayden, founder and chairman of the board of Renters Warehouse, vacancies are often listed as the number one reason people give in and hire a property management company.

The time and money spent on advertising, tenant screening, placing tenants, and drafting lease agreements is much better spent on an experienced property manager that is familiar with the area your property is in, the market trends, and the demographics likely to lease from you.

Plus, a good property management company can get your property leased within a few days or weeks, as opposed to months, which is a hang-up inexperienced, self-managing property owners often deal with.

 

2. Legal Compliance

Imagine the time it will take you to learn every federal, state, and local landlord-tenant law.

Now, imagine hiring a property manager that already knows every rule and regulation related to leasing rental property.

That’s a lot of saved time.

In addition, by hiring a Laurel property manager that is up to date on all rental property legal compliance, you eliminate the risk of unknowingly breaking a law, and ending up in a landlord-tenant dispute.

Things such as rental property inspections, taxes, fair housing, and anti-discrimination laws are all covered when you employ a property manager to handle your rental property.

Not to mention the complex eviction procedures that self-managing rental property owners find themselves getting involved in from time to time – without a clue as to what to do.

By entrusting a property manager to handle the legal aspect of your rental property, you significantly reduce the chances of getting into a legal dispute that will result in a financial loss.

 

3. Higher Quality Tenants

Get Higher Quality Tenants With a Rental Property Management Company

Your property manager will have the resources to attract only the best tenants for your rental property.

This is because they understand the market, the need for thorough (and legally complaint) background checks and tenant screening processes, and they also know how to advertise available properties to those that are likely to be high paying quality tenants.

As a property owner with little experience marketing your rental, there is a good chance you will advertise on the wrong platforms (at higher costs than your property manager would), and possibly attract the wrong tenant pool.

In fact, you may not even know how to properly screen for tenants according to their ability to pay, which can have dire effects on your bottom line when halfway through a tenancy your tenant stops paying their rent.

Trust a property manager to handle these details for you.

Not only does this free you up to do other things, it relieves you of the pressure to find perfect tenants for your property that can pay the rent rate you “think” you deserve.

(Yes, your property manager can also help you set the right rent rate for your property so you receive the highest ROI possible.)

 

4. Maintenance and Repairs

When it comes to maintenance and repairs, many self-managing property owners feel they can tackle all complaints that will arise during their tenant’s tenancy.

Come to find out, however, many property owners don’t like midnight calls, have no idea how to handle most repairs on their own, and do not have a list of reliable contractors that are licensed and insured to perform timely, affordable, and quality work on their investment property.

All of this adds up to a huge waste of time, and an even bigger waste of money.

However, if you enlist the help of a reputable property management company that has a 24/7 maintenance crew on hand, suddenly all of these time and money problems disappear.

With the right property manager, you no longer have to answer tenant maintenance and repair requests, and you save money thanks to the Rolodex of contractors your property manager has on hand to handle any repair, no matter how serious.

 

5. Rent Collection Enforcement

Rent Collection Enforcement Is Guaranteed When You Hire a Rental Property Management Company

Collecting rent from your tenants is how you make money.

However, what you may not realize is that collecting rent from your tenants can be challenging at times.

Even if you place the highest quality tenants in your property every single time, there is bound to be an issue or two with rent collection during your career as a rental property owner.

With a property manager on hand, you make rent collection easier in the following ways:

  • The lease agreement, drafted by your property manager, will strictly outline everything rent collection related
  • Your property manager will discuss with your new tenants the rent collection process so they thoroughly understand their obligations
  • There will be convenient ways for your tenant to pay their monthly rent
  • Any failure to pay rent on time will be met with swift consequences, again outlined in the lease and explained to your tenants
  • The legal procedure for evicting non-paying tenants is understood by your property manager so there are no illegal proceedings you have to account for
  • Your property manager will likely stand behind you in court if necessary, helping you to recover all costs related to a non-paying tenant

 

In Closing

As you can see, having a knowledgeable property management company by your side to ensure you get paid, no matter what, is helpful in saving you time and money.

With the right property manager on your side, helping you with tasks like tenant placement, lease agreement drafting, rent collection, and maintenance, you will have time to focus on building your portfolio, taking that extra vacation, or focusing on your day job.

If you are looking for a Laurel property management company to help you save time and money in the long run, get in touch with Bay Management Group today.

With years of experience in the rental property industry, we take care of every little detail related to your rental property so you don’t have to. Avoiding one bad eviction process, one lost lawsuit, one major repair request, or one less vacancy, more than makes up for the cost of investing in a property manager.


4 Renovations To Keep Your Tenants Happy & Complaint-Free

Renovations to Keep Your Owings Mills Tenants Happy & Complaint-Free

Keeping your tenants happy is the best way to continue collecting a consistent stream of rental income, prevent an unnecessary vacancy, and of course, build your Owings Mills rental property business into one that is reputable and successful.

That said, how you keep your tenants happy can be challenging at times.

There are so many ways to keep tenants satisfied, and each tenant you encounter will have their own individual needs, and complaints, that you need to address.

If you are looking to secure more lease renewals, and genuinely provide quality customer service to your tenants, take a look at these common renovations you can make to your rental property to help lower tenant complaints.

 

Lower Tenant Complaints with These Rental Upgrades

As a property owner, you cannot possibly anticipate every issue your tenants will have.

However, with these Owings Mills rental property renovations, you can definitely lower the number of complaints you receive from tenants, and boost their overall satisfaction.

 

1. Appliance Upgrades

Upgrade Appliances to Keep Owings Mills Tenants Happy and Complaint-Free

Your tenants will always have maintenance and repair issues that need dealing with throughout their tenancy.

In fact, some of the most common maintenance complaints you are going to face will be associated with your property’s appliances.

The last thing you want is to have multiple grievances about your property’s appliances put in by your tenants during their tenancy.

Not only will this begin to cost you, since it is your responsibility to handle all maintenance and repair issues, this is sure to grind on your tenant’s nerves – even if you handle every repair quickly and efficiently.

In short, tenants want the appliances in their home to work. What they don’t want is to have to call your property management company on a regular basis to inform you of another appliance that has burnt out.

If you have room in your budget to upgrade your rental’s appliances to newer, more energy efficient ones, you should.

This will not only allow you to command higher rent rates, new appliances are bound to last longer without needing repair, which is something every tenant will appreciate.

 

2. New Flooring

In the past, we have discussed the various flooring options you have when it comes to your rental property.

And, while flooring such as hardwood or laminate garner you a higher ROI on your rental property, the truth is, they don’t do much for one major tenant complaint – noise.

 Noise problems can wreak havoc on your tenant’s daily life, especially if they lease an apartment or townhome from you, where shared walls are common, and neighbors become an issue.

What’s worse is that typical noise complaints don’t usually break the threshold designated by local authorities as a violation of the city’s noise ordinances. This means your tenants have to deal with neighboring animals, music, or children, and there is usually no legal remedy available to stop it.

This is when noise complaints become your problem.

As the landlord of your tenants, it is your responsibility to maintain their surrounding peace and quiet. And, if noise is something your tenants complain about consistently, it is your job to handle it.

One renovation that helps keep noise at bay, and your tenants satisfied, is carpeting the floors.

Though not always the number one option when it comes to your rental property’s flooring, it helps keeps noise under control, especially in apartments.

This is especially true if you budget in a noise-blocking carpet underlay.

In addition, you can install some high quality carpet choices in your rental if you are looking to rake in higher rent rates. No one ever said the carpet in your rental had to be cheap.

If, by chance, you are not a fan of carpet, there is always the option of installing cork in your rental property. Cork floors absorb sound since they are soft and dense, much like carpet is.

This flooring type will do wonders for controlling outside noise, and look great in your rental property, which is something all property owners aim for.

 

3. New Windows

New Windows Keep Owings Mills Tenants Happy

If your Owings Mills rental property is near a busy area that conducts a lot of excess noise (think New York City during morning rush hour), your tenants may start to voice their problems with this.

What many property owners don’t realize is that the windows on their property have a tendency to exacerbate outside noise.

This means children playing in the street, cars honking, or nearby construction zones may project noise directly into your property, disrupting your tenant’s peace and quiet.

This is because windows conduct light, heat, and noise, and can make all three things worse if not installed properly.

One renovation you can make on your rental property to lower the chances your tenants will complain of outside noise is to install double or triple paned windows.

You can also provide thick, noise projecting window treatments such as drapes to keep out the light, heat, and noise.

Lastly, it is important you make sure your window seals are not cracking, as these tiny gaps have the potential to allow unwanted noise inside the property, without you even realizing it.

 

4. Landscaping

If noise complaints are still something you are receiving from tenants, you can always take your renovations outside to help eliminate some of the problem.

Landscaping your backyard with large trees and shrubs can help block noise from the surrounding businesses and street traffic.

In addition, this renovation will create a backyard oasis for tenants to enjoy, help reduce energy bills thanks to the shade they provide, and help keep drafts out during the cold winters.

 

In Closing

It is impossible to eliminate all tenant complaints with renovations to your rental property.

And, while there are some decent options for helping to reduce tenant complaints, especially when it comes to appliances and noise, there is much more to keeping your tenants satisfied and complaint-free.

If you own rental property and want help boosting tenant satisfaction through not only renovations, but also exceptional customer service, contact the leader in Owings Mills property management − Bay Management Group.

We provide superior customer service when it comes to tenant complaints we receive. With years of experience dealing with every type of tenant issue you could possibly imagine, we know the best way to alleviate problems, provide excellent maintenance and repair services whenever there is even a minor issue, and can help advise tenants of the best ways to make their residency in your rental property one that they enjoy.


5 Expert Property Management Tips to Write a Strong Lease Agreement

Expert Property Management Tips for Writing a Strong Lease Agreement

The way you structure your lease agreement is going to set the tone for the entire term of your Potomac tenants’ stay.

In fact, the lease is often considered the crux of your entire rental property business.

However, drafting your own lease agreement from scratch can be challenging if you self-manage your rental properties and don’t know what to include.

Lease agreements need to have a lot of information built into them to make sure they’re strong enough to enforce with your tenants and in court, should a landlord-tenant dispute ensue.

That’s why knowing the basic steps for creating a strong lease agreement is crucial for maintaining a successful rental property business.

If you are wondering how to create an airtight lease agreement that addresses all of your needs, and protects yourself, your investment property, and your tenants, keep reading for pro tips.

 

1. Hire an Attorney

Hire An Attorney to Write a Strong Lease Agreement

If you are not using Potomac property management to help you draft a solid lease agreement, the next best thing to do is enlist the help of a local, experienced real estate attorney.

Having a lawyer on hand to help you draft your lease agreement is a good idea.

Why?

Because in addition to federal rental property laws you must follow, every state and city has their own specific landlord-tenants laws that you also must abide by in your written lease agreements.

The last thing you want to do is include something in your self-drafted lease agreement that violates a law.

Worse yet, you don’t want to have such a loosely stated lease agreement that clauses you have included can be used against you by knowledgeable tenants looking to take advantage of those not well-versed in the law.

Having an attorney look over a finalized lease agreement is not going to break the bank, and can end up save you lots of time, money, and hassle in the long run.

It is always a good idea to educate yourself about the rules and regulations that apply to you and your rental properties, so that you can always protect your own interests, whether you have a property management company or real estate attorney helping you out.

 

2. Have Multiple Copies of Your Lease

The beauty of modern technology and digital bookkeeping is a bonus for keeping your business organized and secure.

However, digital lease agreements have the potential to be altered, whether by accident or on purpose, by either the tenant or the software.

It is critical you have a paper copy of the lease agreement kept on file at all times to refer to in the case of a dispute. This way your tenant cannot make the claim that a clause in the lease agreement says something entirely different from what you originally drafted.

It is important to have your Potomac property manager discuss this paper copy lease agreement with your tenant at the time of move-in, as well as have them sign the document so you have hard proof that everyone involved knew exactly what was expected of them at all times throughout the lease term.

 

3. Address Lease Changes

Address Lease Changes With An Addendum For Your Rental Property

Sometimes lease agreements change during the course of a tenancy.

However, in order to create a strong lease agreement that prevents changes of all kinds from sneaking into the lease agreement, you must include a clause stating that any changes to the lease agreement will only be considered valid if in writing.

Do not give your tenants the power to “add” lease changes to the original lease agreement from verbal conversations you or your property manager have with them. This can lead to a lot of miscommunication, and changes to the lease you did not approve.

For example, your tenants may have moved into your rental without any pets. And, the lease agreement may clearly state no pets are allowed.

However, perhaps halfway through the lease your tenants approach you or your property manager with a request to get a puppy. And, you agree to this.

Make sure to add a pet policy provision into the lease agreement and have your tenants sign it so they know the rules regarding this new lease clause. Include things like breed and size restrictions, pet deposits and fees, and the consequences if the pet damages your property during their lease term.

If you don’t do this, you could end up with 10 dogs roaming your rental property damaging everything from the interior of your property to the exterior landscaping, all because you verbally said to your tenants that they could have a dog.

The pet policy is just one example of how your written lease agreement can falter if you allow verbal changes to change it.

Protect yourself and your investment by only allowing written changes to be incorporated into the original lease agreement.

 

4. Make Your Writing Clear

Your lease agreement should be extremely clear for anyone that reads it.

Use simple terminology, make it short and to the point, and never leave any open-ended clauses that allow room for interpretation.

If things are not clear, and your tenant can poke holes in each lease provision, chances are the written document you thought was in place to protect all parties will actually be used against you.

Some of the most important provisions to outline clearly in each lease agreement you draft include:

  • Security deposit collection, use, and return procedures
  • The rent amount, when it is due, and the consequences for late or non-payment
  • Maintenance and repair procedures, what will and won’t be covered by you, and what the tenants are responsible for
  • Whether temporary alterations are allowed, and which ones
  • What to do in the case of an early lease termination
  • Your right of entry procedures, complete with notice information
  • Roommate, use of property, and code of conduct rules
  • What happens should any lease provision be breached throughout the lease term

 

This is not a comprehensive list of the important lease clauses to include in your lease agreement.

Rather, it is a list of some of the most important ones that have the potential to create many legal problems for you, should they not be addressed correctly.

 

5. Customize Your Template

Customize The Template For Your Lease Agreement

Using a lease agreement template is okay, especially if you self-manage your rental property. However, you should be aware that lease agreement templates are not one-size-fits-all forms that apply to every landlord in the country.

Both Maryland and Potomac have specific rules and regulations you must follow when it comes to lease drafting. That’s why customizing your template to fit your individual needs, and address the state and local laws is a must.

 

In Closing

If you are looking for a high-quality property management company in Potomac, MD to help you write a strong lease agreement for your rental properties, contact Bay Management Group now.

We have the knowledge to make sure your lease agreements are legally compliant. We will take the time to address every personal provision you want to include in your agreements, and make sure that your tenants understand exactly what is expected of them at all times during their tenancy.


Top 4 Reasons Why Detailed Move-In Inspections Are Essential

Why Move-In Inspections Are Essential For Your Rental Property

Any time you place a new tenant into your Bel Air rental property, you must conduct a thorough move-in inspection – even if you think that your rental is in tip-top shape.

But you and your property management company tirelessly prepared your rental for new tenants, made sure that everything was clean, in good working order, and was visually appealing – that’s enough, right?

Wrong.

In an effort to protect both you and your tenants, as well as the investment property itself, a move-in inspection documenting the original condition of the rental at the time your tenants move in is absolutely necessary, despite how “perfect” the condition of the rental may seem.

To learn more about what a move-in inspection is, and why they are the key to starting a satisfying your renters (as well as one of the best ways to protect your rental property business), keep reading.

 

What is a Move-In Inspection?

Before physically moving into your Bel Air rental property, your tenants, alongside you and your property manager, must take part in what is called a move-in inspection.

Move-in inspections are designed to document, in both writing and visual proof such as photographs or video, the original condition of your rental property at the time your tenants move in.

This way, any existing damages will not become the responsibility of your tenants come the end of their lease term.

In addition, any new damages that do appear at the end of the lease term can be attributed to your tenants, should the damages extend beyond that of normal wear and tear.

The most important part of the move-in inspection is the signature section, where both the landlord and tenants sign in agreement to the original state of the property at the time the tenant takes possession.

 

4 Reasons Why the Move-In Inspection is Important

According to Maryland law, the move-in inspection should be performed with both the property owner and tenants present. This way any damages found in the property at the time the tenant takes possession are seen and agreed to by both parties.

There are very specific reasons why you and your property manager should conduct move-in inspections every time a new tenant moves in.

Let’s take a look.

 

1. Easily Recover Repair Costs

Move-In Inspections Easily Recover Repair Costs Of Your Rental Property

Your Bel Air property management company is going to recommend you collect a security deposit from your new tenants at the start of their lease term.

This is to cover any costs associated with damages to the property, an early lease termination, and any unpaid rent on the part of your tenants.

However, in order to use your tenant’s security deposit to cover the costs of damages that go beyond normal wear and tear, you will need to have proof those damages didn’t exist at the time your tenants moved in.

This is where a detailed move-in inspection checklist comes into play.

If you and your tenants sign a document agreeing to the original state of the property at the beginning of the lease term, and the property looks very different from that original state at the end of the lease term, you now have legal proof that you can collect from your tenant’s security deposit to make necessary repairs.

 

2. Maryland Law Requires It

Every landlord needs to follow all federal, state, and local landlord-tenant laws when it comes to disclosing specific information to tenants at the time they move in.

These disclosures either need to appear in the lease agreement itself, or be attached to the lease agreement as a separate document. Either way, the original state of the property must be revealed to those moving in.

One of the most important things to disclose to your Maryland tenants, which may end up on your move-in inspection checklist, is the certification that your property is free of any lead paint hazards.

According to Maryland’s Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing law, all properties built before 1978 must be registered as having potential lead paint hazards. In addition, landlords must distribute educational materials regarding lead paint hazards, and meet specific inspection requirements that certify the property is safe for living.

As a rental property owner, it is your legal duty to include this information in the move-in inspection so that your tenants are fully aware of what type of rental property they are about to reside in.

This not only protects them from the hazards of lead paint (since your property must be certified as safe to live in), it also protects you from a lawsuit at the end of the lease term should your tenant make the claim you failed to disclose this information to them.

Make sure that you and your Bel Air property management keep your rental property updated with its lead paint certifications. At any time, your tenants may request a copy of your most recent passing lead paint risk reduction inspection certificate that is on file with the Maryland Department of the Environment.

If you do not have this on file, you may find yourself in some legal trouble that you and your property manager may not be able to get out of without paying a hefty amount of fees and fines.

3. It Holds Parties Responsible

Move-In Inspection Holds Parties Responsible In Your Rental Property

Move-in inspections are designed to hold all parties – the landlord, property manager, and tenants – responsible for the condition of the rental property at the time of move in, during the lease term, and at the end when the tenant moves out.

By having your tenants sign the move-in inspection, you set a very clear message that you expect them to care for your property in a certain way, and that if they fail to do so, they will be held accountable.

On the other hand, the move-in inspection, as well as the lease agreement, holds you responsible for detailing the damages at the end of the lease term as an itemized list of security deposit deductions. This ensures that you do not wrongfully take your tenant’s security deposits to fix things in the property that are considered normal wear and tear items.

 

4. It Protects Your Property, Business, and Bottom Line

Here are some of the biggest complications that can arise from not conducting a move-in inspection of your rental property before the tenant moves in:

  • If you wait until after your tenant has moved in to ask them to complete a move-in inspection, you may have trouble compelling them to finish it properly
  • Once a tenant starts to move-in, the original condition of the property has become altered, perhaps even damaged, with no proof of when the damage occurred
  • If you let your tenant complete the inspection without you or your property manager, you run the risk of additional things being added to the list that are not there
  • Simply failing to complete a move-in inspection altogether (or failing to have the tenant sign the inspection) makes collecting the security deposit for repairs nearly impossible

 

These are just some of the scenarios you face if you don’t have a detailed move-in inspection process in place when new tenants move into your rental.

 

In Closing

If you own an investment property in the Bel Air region, and want help ensuring that all parties are fully protected from the start of any tenancy, get in touch with Bay Management Group today.

We can help draft legally compliant lease agreements addressing the issue of both move-in and move-out inspections and security deposits, set up time to thoroughly inspect your rental with both you and your tenants at the start of the lease term, and make sure your property is well cared for throughout the tenancy.

And, in the case excessive damage has been incurred during the lease term, we make sure you collect on your tenant’s security deposit to make proper repairs, so that the next tenants that move in have a pristine rental to call home.


How Often Should You Schedule Rental Property Inspections?

How Often You Should Schedule Rental Property Inspections

Conducting routine inspections of your rental property throughout your tenant’s lease term is an excellent way to ensure your property is being well maintained.

Plus, it offers you a chance to address small maintenance and repair issues before they become bigger, as well as the chance to make sure your tenants are satisfied.

It is important to know, however, how often you can inspect your rental property so that you don’t disrupt your tenant’s living experience and don’t risk violating any tenant-landlord laws.

 

When Can You Inspect Your Chevy Chase Rental Property?

In short, you are legally allowed to inspect your rental property whenever you want, so long as you don’t violate your tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.

In fact, landlords are allowed to drive by, walk by, or bike to their property anytime they want and inspect the exterior to make sure everything looks okay.

That said, your tenants are afforded certain rights when they move into your rental property that ensure you don’t intrude on their day-to-day living.

Tenants have the right to enjoy a peaceful and quiet living experience while leasing from you. This includes the right to a reasonable amount of privacy, freedom from disturbance, and the ability to use any common areas without any significant interference by you.

This means that, despite your pressing concerns about your rental property, you cannot intrude on your tenant’s right to enjoy the property throughout the lease term whenever you want.

And if you do, know that your tenant will then have the right to discontinue paying their monthly rent and leave the premises as they please, with no consequences for breaking the lease early.

 

The Best Times to Inspect Your Rental Property

Despite being able to inspect your rental property whenever you please with proper notice and a legitimate reason, it is best to so you do not become a bother to your tenants.

Below are some crucial times during a tenancy that you should make sure to inspect your property.

 

Move-in and Move-Out Time

Conduct Inspections During Move-In and Move-Out

Your Chevy Chase property management company will have you inspect your property at the time your tenants move in, as well as when they move out at the end of their lease term.

When your tenant moves in, your property manager will inspect the original condition of the property. This way, come the end of the lease term, you are able to determine what damages your tenant may have caused the property while residing there.

Looking beyond what is considered normal wear and tear, any damages found that can be attributed to tenant abuse or neglect are then covered by the tenant’s security deposit, which should have been collected at the time the tenant moved in.

It is important your tenant is aware these inspections will occur. This way they know you will be looking for instances where they may have damaged your property, and that their security deposit is on the line if damages are found.

Lastly, your tenants are likely to take better care of your property knowing you will be combing the property thoroughly at both the beginning and end of the lease term.

 

Check for Unauthorized Tenants

Sometimes you may feel there are unauthorized tenants living in your rental property.

This is common when a tenant begins to house a boyfriend or girlfriend, when a friend needs a new place to live, or when a family member overstays at your property.

Unfortunately, these instances easily turn into a roommate situation that, unless authorized by you, becomes a breach of the lease agreement.

You and your Chevy Chase property manager should have drafted the lease agreement to outline the rules regarding roommates. Some of those rules include:

  • Any roommate wanting to stay at your property must be screened and authorized by you and your property manager
  • The new tenant must sign the new lease agreement ensuring that they will pay their portion of the rent
  • The new lease agreement should have a joint and several liability clause protecting you and your investment property
  • Consequences for housing unauthorized tenants, including eviction, should be outlined so tenants know what can happen if they try to cheat the system

This is all assuming you even allow roommates, which you very well may not.

In any case, should you suspect that your tenants are housing unauthorized tenants, you might want to consider a quick inspection of the property to see if any extra rooms are being used, furniture has been added to the property, or additional people are actually present that are overstaying.

 

Check On Maintenance Needs

Check on Maintenance Needs in Your Rental Property Inspection

Checking your rental property regularly for small maintenance and repair issues is always a good idea.

Sometimes your tenants may fail to inform you about small issues such as leaky faucets. Other times, they may not even be aware there is an issue at all.

Either way, staying on top of small maintenance needs is a great way to keep your tenants satisfied and avoid large repairs costs for neglected repairs.

Conducting these types of inspections during the season changes is a great way to make sure they happen consistently, and do not bother your tenants too much.

When it comes time to winterize your property, do a quick run-through of the entire property, complete with a rental property safety checklist, and make sure everything is in pristine condition.

Do the same during spring when you want to spruce up the landscaping, during summer when it comes time to prepare your property for the colder months, and of course, during fall when things like rain gutters and pipes need checking.

While you’re at it, during these seasonal inspections you should take the time to make sure your tenants are following through on their obligations such as changing the air filters, maintaining major appliances, and keeping up on the landscaping, should these things be their responsibilities.

 

When a Tenant Misses Rent

When Your Tenant Misses Rent, Conduct a Property Inspection

When it comes to running a successful rental property business, you must make sure your lease agreement is drafted to ensure prompt rent collection procedures that your tenant understands from the very beginning.

If at any time your tenant misses a rent payment, you might consider stopping by to see what is going on.

This proactive approach may be able to solve a small issue, and help prevent a bigger issue such as an eviction and a vacant property in need of new tenants.

Find out why the tenant has missed their rent payment, issue proper notice that they need to pay up immediately, or enlist the help of your Chevy Chase property management company to start the eviction process if necessary.

No matter what steps you need to take, know that inspecting your property at a time like this may save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Whatever you do, however, do not take matters into your own hands after inspecting your property and noticing that your property is being poorly maintained or the rent is not being paid on time. This can lead to lots of legal trouble and make things much worse for you.

 

In Closing

It is your job as a landlord to inspect your rental property to make sure your tenants are fulfilling their roles, paying on time, and caring for your property. In addition, it is your job to maintain the property to the highest standards possible so your tenants are satisfied, and want to renew their lease with you come the end of the tenancy.

If you want help with regularly inspecting your investment property, contact Bay Management Group today to connect with our experienced property managers in Chevy Chase, MD.  We can help draft lease agreements that outline the inspection process and responsibilities of all parties involved.

In addition, we can conduct the actual inspections of your rental property so that you know everything is being handled properly, and that both you and your tenant’s rights are being honored.


Top 7 Ways to Guarantee Success in Your First Investment Property

Ways to Guarantee Success in Your First Investment Property

Investing in rental property is a great way to boost supplemental income, or even replace your traditional 9-5 day job.

In fact, getting into the rental property business can be extremely lucrative, if approached the right way.

However, it’s important to note that many first-time investors can mistakenly get caught up in the excitement of buying a rental property – and this excitement can easily get in the way of making sound financial and business decisions.

Taking the step from the decision to invest in Abingdon rental property to actually doing it is a big one that warrants a lot of thought.

It comes with risks that you may not be aware of – ones that have the potential to affect the success of your rental property business for years to come. This is a decision to take very seriously.

If you want to avoid major mistakes when you set out to invest in your first piece of rental property, read on to find some helpful tips that are designed to guide new investors in the right direction, right from the start.

 

Helpful Tips for Investing in Your First Rental Property

1. Have a Plan

Before you jump into investing in your first rental property, you should take the time to devise a solid plan of action.

This will help prevent many unexpected issues that tend to pop up during the purchasing process.

Here are some things experienced property management companies suggest:

  • Pay Down Your Debt. Paying down your existing debt does more than help you qualify for a loan. It also creates a buffer once you own the rental property for things such as emergency maintenance issues, unexpected vacancies, and times when your tenant fails to pay rent.
  • Create a Budget. This is something any experienced property owner will tell you. Making a strict budget, before you invest in a rental property, will prevent you from getting in over your head. Factor in purchase price, maintenance and renovations, an emergency fund, and the cost of placing a tenant in your property.
  • Save for a Down Payment. Even if you have purchased a home in the past, it is important to realize that investing in rental property is much different. You will typically need at least 20% when it comes to a down payment, because there is no PMI available to protect the banks in case you default on the loan.
  • Watch the Market. Knowing when to invest is almost as important as having enough money to invest. You should take care to watch the market and see what interest rates are doing at the time you want to invest. Remember, investment property loans will usually have higher interest rates than traditional homes, which can kill your bottom line, even if you warrant high rent rates from quality tenants.

Making a plan before you get into the excitement of purchasing a rental property will help keep you on track during the investment process.

 

2. Take Your Time Choosing an Investment Property

Take Your Time Choosing an Investment Property

Again, closing on your first investment property is an exciting time that can cloud your judgement if you are not careful.

Avoid buyer’s remorse by taking your time to find the rental that will work best for your pre-defined budget. Check out any property you are interested in buying before entertaining any negotiations, and don’t take the previous homeowner or real estate agent’s word for it.

Ensure that the property has all the amenities you wish to offer to your tenants. Find out what makes this property stand out from others in the area that are being leased, and take note of all the things you may need to renovate before placing a tenant to make sure it fits into your overall budget.

In any business deal, jumping in too soon harbors room for problems that can have lasting effects on your rental property business.

Give yourself time to find the right one; it will be worth it in the long run.

 

3. Avoid Fixer Uppers

In the past, we have discussed how investing in a fixer-upper rental property can be a good idea. However, for those that are new to investing in real estate, this may not always be the best idea.

A great purchase deal on the surface often indicates that there is a lot of work needing to be done after you purchase the property in order to make it rent ready.

And, unless you have budgeted this into your overall plan, and are handy when it comes to repairs, chances are a fixer upper is not what you are looking for in your first investment property.

 

4. Choose a Reliable Real Estate Agent

Choose a Reliable Real Estate Agent For Your First Investment Property

The real estate agent you choose to help you with your property purchase can make or break your longtime success.

To avoid getting mixed up with a less-than-stellar real estate agent, take note of these helpful tips:

  • Don’t get caught up in negotiations with other interested buyers if the purchase price or other details begin to extend beyond what you originally planned for
  • Choose an agent that you trust, that has a reliable reputation, is patient and understands your needs, and is communicative throughout the process
  • Never let an agent rush your purchase decision, even if that means you lose out on a deal
  • Try to get referrals from those close to you that have had success with a real estate agent in the past

If at any time you begin to feel your agent is not being helpful, simply walk away and get a new one.

 

5. Decrease Expenses

Being successful with your first investment property does not stop after you finalize your purchase.

In fact, closing on a property is only the beginning.

From the start, think of ways you can decease expenses and boost your positive cash flow once you place tenants in your property.

For example:

  • Make sure all utilities are the tenant’s responsibility
  • Build extra costs, such as HOA fees, into the rent rate if you can
  • Shop around for homeowners insurance, and require your tenants to get renters insurance
  • Make your rental eco-friendly, especially when it comes to major appliances
  • Challenge your property taxes if you feel they are too high
  • Interview property managers to make sure you are getting the best deal for the services they offer

These small considerations have the potential to save you a lot of money as you lease your rental property, and are easy for new investors to handle.

 

6. Learn the Laws

Learn The Laws For Your First Investment Property

Whether you self-manage your rental or employ Abingdon’s best property management team, it is ultimately your responsibility to know and understand the federal, state, and local laws surrounding the landlord-tenant relationship.

Even if something illegal happens under the care of your property manager, you could find yourself in a lot of hot water.

Court fees and fines, a ding on your reputation as a property owner, and the loss of your property if your bottom line is damaged enough, can all result from not knowing the laws.

Educate yourself so that you know how to properly handle any legal situation that comes your way. And, if you have a knowledgeable property management company backing you, think of that as an added bonus.

7. Consider Hiring an Abingdon Property Manager

Getting into real estate and leasing your first investment property can be daunting at first.

You may not know what to do after you have purchased your property, or maybe you are not keen on the idea of self-managing your rental.

No matter the case, the solution resides in hiring a trusted property manager to help you out with everything from advertising your available property to tenant placement; tenant complaints to the lease renewal process.

If you are looking to invest in your first rental property in Abingdon, consider getting in touch with Bay Management Group from day one. With years of experience in the rental property industry, Bay Management Group has the staff on hand to answer all of your questions about being a successful rental property owner.

This way, once you invest in your first rental property, you will already have a qualified property manager in Abingdon ready to help you with setting rent rates, conducting inspections, providing 24/7 maintenance and repair services, and more.


Expert Ways To Make Your Rental Property Landscaping More Manageable

How to Make Your Rental Property Landscaping More Manageable

First impressions are everything in life.

In order to make new friends, get hired for a new position, and yes, even to land a new tenant in your Elkridge rental property, first impressions are important.

As a landlord, you may not be too keen on the idea of investing your hard earned money into landscaping your rental property, if you are not going to be the one that enjoys it.

However, it is a widely accepted fact that curb appeal (how attractive the exterior of your property looks, including both your front and back yards), makes all the difference to prospective tenants.

That’s why today we are going to take a look at some easy ways you can make your Elkridge rental property landscaping stand out to potential tenants, without adding a great deal of hassle to your life.

 

How to Easily Manage Your Rental Property Landscaping

Whether you decide to tend to your rental property’s landscaping yourself, outsource to a reliable landscaping company, or enlist your tenants to lend a hand, having a solid foundation is the key to great looking yards that last all year long.

 

1. Fake It

Use Fake Grass to Make Rental Landscaping Manageable

We are not talking about faking the fact that you are investing time and money into your landscaping efforts.

What we mean is that if you really want an easy-to-manage solution to having green grass in your rental property’s yard that lasts year round, consider installing synthetic (fake) grass.

While the debate behind whether synthetic grass is a good idea or not still stands, the truth is, fake grass is easy to manage and comes with plenty of advantages.

In fact, according to HouseLogic, there are some key reasons synthetic grass is gaining popularity:

  • The upfront cost is recovered quickly after installment
  • It saves water which is not only eco-friendly, it helps save your tenants money
  • There is no maintenance when it comes to mowing, watering, seeding, edging, and fertilizing
  • The weather will not kill it (though you should take care if your property is in a hot region)

In addition, synthetic grass simply looks good.

Your rental property’s yards, especially the backyard, should be an oasis escape for your tenants to enjoy all the time. Fake grass has the ability to look and feel very much like real grass, which can be very inviting.

 

2. Go Native

Plants that are native to Maryland are going to be the easiest to manage throughout the year, regardless of who is in charge of that task.

Here are some of the most popular Maryland native plants that will suit all of your landscaping needs:

  • Groundcover. Pussytoes and Golden Groundsel are great for covering large sections of yard with an easy to manage plant. Plus, they work well to keep weeds at bay.
  • Ferns. For a lush, green look, add Sensitive and Christmas Ferns to your yard.
  • Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes. If you decide to forgo the synthetic grass for your rental’s landscaping, use Blue Sedge, Wool Grass, Little Bluestem, or Yellow Indiangrass instead.
  • Wildflowers. There is nothing more beautiful than flowers in an array of colors spanning your property’s backyard. Use Cardinal Flowers, Foxglove Beardtongues, Butterfly Weeds, or New York Ironweeds to add pops of color to your garden.
  • Shrubs. For the places in your yard that need a little extra coverage, consider Rose Mallow or Hillside Blueberry shrubs.
  • Trees. Maintaining trees can be a major hassle if you use non-native ones. That’s why Blackgun and White Oaks are going to be your best bet.

This is just a sampling of the types of native plants that will fare well in Maryland.

They are naturally occurring in the region (which is why they can withstand the elements), and are easy to take care of no matter your skill level.

 

3. Add Patio Space

Add Patio Space to Make Your Rental Property Landscaping More Manageable

If you are really looking to decrease the amount of time needed to maintain your Elkridge rental property’s landscaping, try adding a sizeable patio section to the backyard.

An excellent selling point when it comes to placing a new tenant in your rental, large patio spaces can serve multiple functions.

This area makes hosting family and friends a cinch for tenants that like to have get togethers. Patios are also great places to store equipment for the different seasons (such as your ski gear for winter, and your boating accessories for summer).

Lastly, there is little to no maintenance required when it comes to well-designed patios, save for a little sweep or watering down every now and again.

And, if you are really looking to impress prospective tenants, consider investing in some outdoor patio furniture, lighting, and even a BBQ with a food prep station so your tenants can get the most out your property’s backyard area.

Just don’t forget to add storage space for your tenants to store things like patio cushions during the rainy season or during times of non-use. This way the furniture textiles you have invested in do not become ruined (because replacing these things often will become costly).

 

4. Consider Water Use

While adding native Maryland plants is a great idea, and they typically do not require a lot of water, it is still crucial you think of overall water use when you design your rental’s outdoor space.

Maintaining a fully functioning sprinkler system opens you up to regular maintenance and repairs, especially when winter arrives and pipes have a tendency to freeze.

And, if you choose to water your yard by hand (or require your tenant to do so), the easy to maintain yard quickly becomes a hassle that is not easy to manage.

By using lots of groundcovers, as mentioned above, you reduce the amount of watering that your yard needs. In addition, these groundcovers will help keep other plants from overgrowing, will protect the soil from the elements (such as extreme hot or cold), and will only require an occasional rake here and there.

In fact, a region such as Elkridge experiences a lot of annual rain, even during the “dry season,” which means there is very little watering you will need to do with a large groundcover such as Golden Groundsel.

 

In Closing

When it comes to your rental property landscaping, there are a few factors to consider before jumping in and designing a tropical jungle.

You must consider what role each party will play in the maintenance of your property’s yards, how much work you want those tasked with landscaping to do, and how much money you want invested in the overall project.

If you are looking for an excellent property manager in Elkridge to help with tasks such as maintaining landscaping, lease drafting, rent collection, and seasonal inspections, contact Bay Management Group today.

Not only can we advise you on how to maximize the outdoor space your investment property has, we can assure you that your tenants fully understand their responsibilities when it comes to the maintenance of your yards, no matter how easy it is.

Our goal is to garner you high quality tenants that will care for and appreciate your rental’s landscaping, while collecting the highest rent rates possible as a reward for all your hard work in creating the perfect outdoor space.


The Top 5 Pro Tips For Long-Term Essex Resident Retention

Pro Tips for Long Term Tenant Retention In Essex

Learning how to retain your Essex tenants, and encourage them to sign lease renewals at the end of their lease terms, is something all successful property owners do at some point during their career.

In fact, learning this skill early on will save you the time and money it takes to advertise a vacant property, screen for new tenants, draft a new lease agreement, and prepare your property for new tenants.

Not to mention, retaining tenants grants you a consistent stream of income, and helps you keep your vacancy rates low.

Whether you employ an Essex property management company to help boost your property retention rates, or you self-manage your rentals and approach tenant retention yourself, there are always new tips to add to your arsenal for satisfying your tenant, and making them want to stay year after year.

Keep reading to find out some of the best tenant retention tips both you and your property manager can implement to secure long-term resident retention in your investment property.

 

The 5 Essential Ways to Boost Retention Rates in Your Rental

1. Build Strong Landlord-Tenant Relationships

Build a Strong Relationship With Your Essex Tenant

Property management companies always stress the importance of first impressions when it comes to the landlord-tenant relationship.

And there’s a reason for that: how you begin a lease term with new tenants sets the tone for the rest of the tenancy.

That said, it is easy to forget to build on those relationships as your tenants settle into your property. This is especially true if your tenants always pay their rent on time, rarely complain or cause problems, and take care of your property the way they are supposed to.

But remember, when it comes to higher retention rates, it is this relationship with your tenants that matters most.

Do not spend all of your time and resources marketing vacant properties, dealing with problem tenants, and seeking new investment properties.

Instead, take the time to solidify relationships with good tenants that you hope to keep on for another lease term.

 

2. Say “Thank You”

Expressing your gratitude towards tenants that are worth the lease renewals you send out at the end of each lease term is another way to encourage high quality tenants to stay.

Try giving your best tenants something meaningful when it comes to rewarding them for their great tenant behavior.

Of course, a discount on rent is always welcome, since 58% of tenants prefer lower rent rates when it comes to incentives.

However, here are some unique ideas you can try should your budget allow:

  • Reserved Parking Spaces. Loyal tenants are sure to appreciate a reserved parking spot. Perhaps a covered spot or one that is closer to the property is something you can offer as an incentive. This works especially well for properties in urban areas where parking space is limited.
  • Deep Clean. Many property owners offer an annual carpet cleaning for tenants that sign lease renewals. However, taking it one step further and offering a house-wide deep clean is sure to make your tenants that much more satisfied.
  • Buy a Gift. Depending on your budget, and how much you value your tenant, consider buying them a unique gift that you wouldn’t normally purchase for an adequate tenant. For example, annual passes to the local zoo or amusement park, new furniture, or even something electronic such as a TV can go a long way when it comes to tenant satisfaction.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to reward your tenant for being a good tenant and signing lease renewals with you. Sometimes, all it takes is a small incentive to push them in the right direction and convince them to stay.

 

3. Make Tenant Satisfaction a Year-Round Priority

Just as it is important to work on your tenant-landlord relationship throughout the lease term, it is important you check on the level of your tenant’s satisfaction throughout the lease term as well.

If you wait to find out your tenant does not want to renew with you come lease renewal time because they were not happy with some of the things you or your Essex property management company did or did not do, it’s too late.

Check on your tenants year-round to make sure any minor issues they are having are addressed immediately.

This proactive approach may be just enough to show your tenants that it’s worth their while to stay in your property for another year.

 

4. Get Feedback from Tenants and Make Improvements

Get Feedback From Tenants and Make Improvements

One thing all our property managers in Essex encourage their clients to do is collect feedback from current tenants to find out what improvements, if any, can be made.

Again, waiting until lease renewal time to find out your tenants are unhappy is too late.

Chances are they have already made their mind up and are on the way out, no matter what you do to try to stop them.

Here are some helpful feedback tips:

  • Attempt to meet with your tenants face-to-face for a more personalized meeting
  • For tenants that cannot meet in person, make an online or mail-in survey available so they can participate at their own convenience
  • Consider offering a small incentive to get tenants to complete the survey, such as a one month rent discount
  • Take the time to work with your property management company once results come in to make needed improvements

 

In addition to maintaining an open line of communication with your tenants throughout their lease term, implementing an annual satisfaction survey can help you lower tenant turnover rates, and make your rental property business more successful.

 

5. Offer 24/7 Rental Property Maintenance

Offer Around the Clock Rental Property Maintenance

Around the clock maintenance is something that all tenants appreciate when it comes to leasing a rental property.

When you fail to pay attention to the overall maintenance and repair procedures you have in place, and problems ensue, tenants are sure to look elsewhere to live once their lease is up.

Make sure your tenant knows from the start what to do in the case of an emergency versus a minor repair issue.

Give them all of the appropriate contact information – property manager, contractors, emergency maintenance, and the after-hours call center – so that when they need something, they know exactly what to do and who to call.

In addition, it is crucial you stay on top of the relationship your property management company and vendors have.

If that relationship is broken, this will surely carry over into any work performed on your investment property for your tenants. This can bother tenants to the point they do not want to sign a lease renewal with you.

 

In Closing

Your tenants need to feel good about where they live, especially if they are going to sign lease renewals come the end of their lease terms.

And as the property owner, whether you enlist the help of a property manager or not, it is your responsibility to make sure they are nothing short of satisfied.

If you own rental property in the Essex region, and hope to reduce your property vacancies, get in touch with Bay Management Group today. We provide superior customer service to both property owners and their tenants, and believe that how we treat our customers is the most important aspect of our business.

With effective maintenance procedures in place to guarantee tenant satisfaction, the ability to regularly check in on tenants to ensure they are not having any issues, and the desire to collect and utilize any feedback we receive from your tenants, we can help you improve your property retention rates. It is our job to place long-term tenants in your rental and make certain they are happy.